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04-21-2012, 06:56 PM   #1

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What gadget bag works best for you??

Some people never even use a gadget bag; others use a bag that is perhaps adapted to a gadget bag, etc... But if you had to pick one or two existing gadget bags that work best for you what would they be? Better yet if you had to change some of the features on it; add those in too. Or a type of ultimate challenge, design your own.

If there's one thing that I collect more than photo imaging gear; it's gadget bags. No joke I have more than most camera stores. Aluminum cases just as Zero's, abs cases that are both waterproof and almost indestructable under daily use, soft sided version of fabric bags, leather ones, etc... Some of my first bags are basically variations of luggage; some are just leather bags and not much else.

My first favorite bags were Domke's and LowePro's. Sorry can't recall what model the Domke was; I believe the LowePro was a larger Magnum.

My current still favorite bags are still LowePro's (of all sizes), Tamracs, Domke's, Crumblers, and even (somewhat modified) Brenthavens.

Might I suggest watching one of the youtube Brenthaven postings - whether one happens to be a Mac or a PC user. I've never seen a more durable soft sided computer bag made - and they show it - and i'll also attest to it.

A few more specifics about the favorites...

LowePro DZ (the soft sided float bag); a bit controversial, but it works -as long as you don't nee fast access all of the time. I also use all of the Sliplock bags; and dozens of other LowePro models.

Tamrac; the 767 or any of the three digit variety. The three digit ones are actually made in america. I'm also working on adding a few new Tamracs in the near future.

...And if I ctually contributed into making my own bag; it would probably be made out of a meterial much like Dupont Spectra. Tamrac used this material in the past - and to state it lightly the material looks quite strange. Kelty also used this material in some of their backpacks. It is usually a white material because - it simply doesn't accept being dye to be colored. One can drag it through grass for any period of time and it still doesn't become stained - ever. It's also the same material which bullet resistant vests are made from.

My made bag would also be as water resistant as humanly possible, but also have the option for a rain cover.

Gadget bags are like cameras - what works for one person doesn't quite work for another.

04-21-2012, 07:17 PM   #2
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Over the course of many decades I've carried photo gear in bags of many sizes. I learned early that big shoulder bags loaded with stuff are a chiropractor's best friend. So I have a couple big bags now, a Diamond (model unknown) and a Domke F2 -- but they're only on my shoulders en-route to-from my car's back seat. I have a Tamrac Expedition 3 backpack -- but backpacks are hard to get into quickly, so it just carries filters and flashes as needed.

My carry-bag is a large Ameribag. This is an over-the-shoulder teardrop bag NOT intended for photo use, so it doesn't scream STEAL ME! I started using such bags after a pickpocket encounter in Antigua Guatemala. Old Guate Hands swear by it, especially after running a steel cable through the strap to deter slash-and-grab thieves. When I get nervous, it's easily swung around front and cradled in my arms, a difficult target for thieves.

The Ameribag used to be large enough for my Sony DSC-V1, IR kit, Vaio mini-laptop, and travel necessities: pills, passport, kite, long-sleeve nylon tee, tools, TP, hat, comm scanner, etc. Now I exclude the laptop and can still fit my K20D, 4 not-small zooms, a few small primes, closeup kit, and all the other necessities. I know LowePro has something similar; don't remember the name though. When the Ameribag finally wears out -- and I've already had the main zipper replaced -- I'll look for that LowePro.
04-21-2012, 08:14 PM   #3

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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
The Ameribag used to be large enough for my Sony DSC-V1

Make sure to hold onto that Sony DSC V1 - it's one of the best cameras of it's type ever made; about on par with the Sony R1. But if you really must (or could be persuaded to) I'm sure it woud be easy to sell at more than you ever paid for it retail. I know it's only some 5mp, but looks like a lot more in the final results. It also has that Zeiss lanes on it - truly incredible.
04-21-2012, 08:28 PM   #4

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Whatta genius here; 50k++ in gear at before 5am in Times Square NYC; in a very well marked, well known bag. Perhaps I should have used duct tape or a less conspicious bag??

Oops pics doesn't post, but it's in my very limited album.

Last edited by Medium FormatPro; 04-21-2012 at 08:28 PM. Reason: no pic yet??
04-21-2012, 08:29 PM   #5
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well i have in the past made my own bag and from experience i know they are hard to get what you want and in a light fasion also. well now i have about 5 bags and in my main everyday use i use my domke its big enough to hold all my lenses that i would need and my k10d, also some filters and a flash. But im thinking of making an insert for an older bag that i have and use it instead dont know yet.
04-21-2012, 09:29 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Medium FormatPro Quote
Make sure to hold onto that Sony DSC V1 - it's one of the best cameras of it's type ever made; about on par with the Sony R1.
I'm on my third V1. I wore out the first two. (Well, the first was on a tripod that blew over in the wind and landed face-down with the lens extended. Oops. The second just got roughly handled.) Only problem with the V1 is that its grub screws sometimes work loose. Luckily, I have two bodies from which to salvage screws. Anyway, the surviving V1 is always in my bag, often with its IR kit: IR light, IR-B&W-CC filters, adapter, etc. I've sold a number of pictures shot with it. I may seek another V1 just as a backup.

V1 story: I bought my first V1 not long after its release. Me mate and I wanted the latest P&S digicams so we ordered a V1 and its sister DSC-P10 (same sensor, different optics and platform). These were NOT cheap in 2002, about US$750 and $450 respectively. We ordered from Fry's. A couple days later, two packages appeared. I opened the V1 box -- and it was empty. Just docs and disc and cables. It was factory-sealed, so I guess some assembly worker walked off with the goodies. I called Fry's. The next day, another box appeared, with camera. Whew.

There's a P10 story too, about how it got dropped onto hard tiles in Guatemala and it busted open but I eventually managed to bend it back into shape and it still works, sorta, and it's hanging in front of me right now, next to the V1 and the Olympus 770SW which can survive drops that eviscerated the P10.

There's also a story about their ancestor the P20, a 1.1mpx P&S that still works and also produced salable shots, and it's relevant to my first post here. We were in Antigua Guatemala for Semana Santa (among other things) which draws huge crowds, the 2nd largest Holy Week gatherings in the world after Seville Spain. We watched processions from the balcony of our posada (rooming house). I went outside to walk 20 feet to the excellent coffee shop on the corner. The P20 was in one pants pocket, my wallet was in the other. Fortunately, the pickpocket got the wallet, not the camera, and Fernando trusted me to pay for the coffee and pandulces later.

That pickpocketing is what decided me to use an Ameribag at all times, and I've lost nothing since. The rule in crowded cities: Anything in your pockets WILL be taken. Carry a defensible bag.
04-22-2012, 05:10 AM   #7
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For me, my two best bags have been a relatively small Fotima bag and my Domke bag. The Fotima was able to carry 2 camera bodies, prime lenses ranging from 16mm-200mm, extension tubes, a 1.5X and 2X teleconverter, as well as filters, small flash, cable release, lens cleaning supplies, etc... Everything I needed fit into one small..but very heavy..bag. My Domke is a favorite because of its versatility. No matter what situation I anticipate encountering, I can usually cram what I need into the Domke. It's a perfect "walk around" bag. It's light, tough, and flexible.

04-23-2012, 01:02 AM   #8
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I want to use my Saddleback Leather Briefcase for a light camera bag. I would need a good insert that'll fit in it. This Tenba Digital Pro 2 insert might work. There are lots of inserts out there, though. Can any of you guys make a suggestion? (;

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